Building a Better Future: Highlights of Singapore’s 2023 Budget

Singapore’s Finance Minister, Mr Lawrence Wong, in his 2023 Budget speech, quipped that despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, geo-political headwinds and inflation, Singapore has managed to find its way through, thanks to the collective efforts of its people.

To seize new opportunities for Singaporeans, strengthen the social compact, and reassure Singaporean families while promoting collective resilience among citizens to boost economic growth and improve resilience, the Singapore government has identified the following realms in the Budget 2023:

  • Need for Nurturing and sustaining Innovation, building capabilities and anchoring quality investments, developing local enterprises;
  • Equipping and empowering the workers,
  • Strengthening the social compact,
  • Providing assurance in silver years;
  • Building a resilient nation and
  • Building a competitive, resilient and fair tax system.

Read on to learn more about the highlights of Budget 2023.


Economic Indicators:

Despite the challenges shown by the pandemic, Singapore is showing signs of recovery, with the F&B and retail industries seeing signs of a rebound, construction activities picking up, and air travel resuming. However, new challenges emerged in 2022, including tightness in energy markets and supply chain bottlenecks caused by the continuing conflicts in Ukraine. This has led to a surge in oil and gas prices, a shortage of food items, and export bans by some countries, worsening global supply chain bottlenecks. Tight labour markets also contributed to inflation as companies paid higher wages to attract and retain workers.

Amidst these challenges, Singapore’s economy managed to grow by 3.6% in 2022, and the resident unemployment rate fell below pre-pandemic levels at 2.8% in December last year.


Key highlights of Budget 2023


Singapore provides two prongs of support to Singaporeans:

(i) the permanent GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme, which permanently defrays GST expenses for lower- to middle-income Singaporeans, and

(ii) the Assurance Package (AP) provides transitional support to all Singaporeans to cushion the impact of the higher GST rate.

To enhance the permanent GSTV scheme and provide more relief to eligible households, the following modifications have been made in Budget 2023:

a. For households living in homes with Annual Values of $13,000 and below:

  • The GSTV Cash quantum will increase from $500 to $700 in 2023.
  • The GSTV Cash quantum will increase to $850 from 2024 onwards.

b. For households living in homes with Annual Values of above $13,000 and up to $21,000:

  • The GSTV Cash quantum will increase from $250 to $350 in 2023.
  • The GSTV Cash quantum will increase to $450 from 2024 onwards.

The Assurance Package includes:

(i) a cash payment for eligible Singaporeans over the remaining years of the package, with enhancements increasing the AP cash payments by between $300 and $650, bringing the total payments received by adult Singaporeans to between $700 and $2,250 over five years.

(ii) CDC Vouchers will be increased by $100 in 2024, providing an additional $300 vouchers for all Singaporean households in January of next year.

(iii) Additional one-off support measures to help Singaporeans cope with cost-of-living expenses:

(a) Eligible adult Singaporeans will receive a Cost-of-Living Special Payment ranging from $200 to $400.

(b) Seniors aged 55 and above will receive a Cost-of-Living Seniors’ Bonus of $200 to $300.

(c) U-Save Rebates provided to households will be doubled over the subsequent three tranches of disbursement, with eligible households expected to receive up to $760 in rebates.

(d) Children aged six and below will receive a top-up of $400 to their Child Development Account, and older children will receive a top-up of $300 to their Edusave account or Post-Secondary Education Account.

(e) Larger households with seniors and children staying together will receive more support.

These enhancements enable Singapore to maintain its commitment to offsetting additional GST expenses for at least five years for most Singaporean households and about ten years for lower-income families.



1. Nurturing and sustaining Innovation through Enterprise Innovation Scheme:

  • The Singapore government has launched the Enterprise Innovation Scheme to support pervasive innovation across the economy. Under the scheme, businesses engaging in certain qualifying activities will be eligible for tax deductions of up to 400% of qualifying expenditure.
  • Additionally, smaller businesses that have insufficient profits to benefit from tax deductions can convert 20% of their qualifying expenditure into a cash payout, up to a maximum of $20,000 per year.
  • The enhancements to the Enterprise Financing Scheme will be extended until March 31, 2024, facilitating access to credit. The enhancements include
  • a 70% government risk share for trade loans,
  • An increase in the maximum amount for trade and working capital loans,
  • Providing support for domestic construction projects through project loans.

2. Building capabilities and anchoring quality investments via National Productivity Fund:

  • The Singaporean government will inject $4 billion into the National Productivity Fund and broaden its focus to include investment promotion.
  • This move aims to attract high-quality investments to Singapore, support companies in developing new capabilities, enhance the domestic ecosystems and upskill the workers.

3. Developing local enterprises with the help of SME Co-investment Fund & Singapore global enterprises initiative:

  • Companies require continuous capital to grow and be globally competitive. To strengthen the enterprise financing ecosystem, the Singapore government has developed an array of investments that deploy equity financing to SMEs and catalyze additional growth capital from the private sector. These measures have yielded positive results, and thus the Singapore government has set aside an additional $150 million via the SME Co-Investment Fund to further invest in promising SMEs.
  • Singapore’s government has also allocated $1 billion through Singapore’s global enterprises initiative to offer customized capability-building programs for promising companies.
  • To help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Food Services, Retail sectors, and Food Manufacturing adopt energy-efficient equipment, the Energy Efficiency Grant will be extended until March 31, 2024, due to increased electricity prices.


  1. Singapore is providing strong support for upskilling through SkillsFuture.
  2. Forward Singapore exercise studies policy moves to raise the support for displaced workers and improve pathways to better jobs.
  3. Labour market intermediaries are being developed to optimize training and job placement.
  4. Jobs-Skills Integrators will be appointed and equipped to work with industry, training, and employment facilitation partners.
  5. Senior Employment Credit, Part-time Re-employment Grant, and PWCS are being extended to continue providing senior workers wage offsets and flexible work arrangements.
  6. The Enabling Employment Credit is being enhanced to cover a more significant proportion of wages and a longer duration for PwDs who have not worked for at least six months.
  7. A new Uplifting Employment Credit is being introduced as a time-limited wage offset to encourage firms to employ ex-offenders.



The government aims to offer tailored assistance to a specific demographic – young families – and bolster support for lower and middle-income groups amid the unstable economic climate. As such, several initiatives have been allocated additional funding to optimize their efficacy and alleviate the effects of the increasing cost of living.

1. Strong Support for young families

  • The Baby Bonus Cash Gift will increase by $3,000 for all newborns.
  • The $3,000 Baby Support Grant will be extended to eligible children born between October 1 2022, and February 13 2023.
  • The Child Development Account will be enhanced by increasing the First Step Grant from $3,000 to $5,000 and raising the co-matching cap for the first and second child by $1,000 each.
  • The Unpaid Infant Care Leave will be extended by six days per parent per year for those with children under the age of two.
  • The government-paid paternity leave will be doubled from two to four weeks to encourage more paternal involvement in a child’s early development. The initial two extra weeks of paternity leave will be voluntary for employers, with the government reimbursing those who grant the additional leave. These measures aim to alleviate the financial strain on young families and promote greater parental involvement in child-rearing.

2. Strong Support for working mothers:

  • Working mothers will receive a fixed amount of Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR) based on the number of children they have instead of a percentage of their earned income.
  • From YA 2025, working mothers can claim relief of $8,000 for the first child, $10,000 for the second child, and $12,000 for the third and subsequent child born or adopted on or after January 1, 2024.
  • This change is expected to benefit working mothers in the lower to middle-income groups with an annual income of approximately $53,000 and below.
  • The Foreign Domestic Worker Levy tax relief will be removed from YA 2025.
  • The Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR) conditions will be relaxed from YA 2024, allowing caregivers to earn up to $4,000 from a trade, business, profession, vocation, and employment while still eligible for GCR.

3. Supporting housing aspirations of young Singaporeans:

  • First-time families and young couples buying their first home will be supported with new measures. An additional ballot for BTO flat applications will be provided to eligible families.
  • The CPF Housing Grant for 4-room or smaller resale flats will be increased by $30,000 and $10,000 for 5-room or larger flats.
  • Eligible families can receive up to $190,000 in grants when purchasing a resale flat combined with the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant and Proximity Housing Grant.


  • CPF contribution rates for senior workers (aged 55 to 70) will be increased from 1 January 2024 to help build their retirement savings.
  • Employers will receive a one-year CPF Transition Offset equivalent to half of the additional employer CPF contributions payable in 2024 to ease their burden.
  • The Minimum CPF Monthly Payouts for Seniors (aged 65 and above) under the Retirement Sum Scheme will be raised from $250 to $350 from 1 June 2023.
  • The CPF monthly salary ceiling will be raised in stages from $6,000 to $8,000 by 2026.
  • The CPF contribution rates for gig economy workers will generally align with those for employers and employees, phased in over five years.
  • The Platform Worker CPF Transition Support scheme will be introduced to alleviate the impact on lower-income platform workers.



1. Building Organisational capabilities

  • Establishing a more comprehensive training system for public servants to develop their skills and expertise.
  • Mobilizing and cross-deploying public servants based on their skillsets and expertise to perform various crisis roles.
  • Utilizing the capabilities of the private and people sectors in responding to crises. These measures will help build a more capable and effective public service to better respond to challenges and crises.

2. Ensuring Economic and Infrastructure Resilience

  • Diversify import sources and reduce reliance on any single supplier for critical goods and services.
  • Stockpile food and essential items to ensure sufficient supplies during times of crisis.
  • Promote local production of essential goods to reduce vulnerability to supply disruptions. In addition, buildings will be designed to serve peacetime and crisis functions wherever possible. This will ensure that critical infrastructure and facilities can continue to function during emergencies and support the overall resilience of the nation.

3. Safeguarding Climate Resilience

  • Hasten the low-carbon transition of our economy and society, aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Implement measures to adapt to the impacts of global warming and rising sea levels.

4. Building resilience in people

  • Extend the 250% tax deduction for donations to IPCs and eligible institutions until the end of end-2026 to encourage giving.
  • Enhance the Corporate Volunteer Scheme to deepen partnerships between businesses and IPCs by expanding eligible activities, doubling the claims per IPC to a cap of $100,000 per calendar year, and extending it until the end of end-2026.
  • Review salary benchmarks and increase salary guidelines for the social service sector to attract and retain talent.
  • Top up the Community Silver Trust by $1 billion to support social service agencies that provide community care services to seniors through dollar-for-dollar donation matching.
  • Provide a $10 million top-up over the next three years to support Self-Help Groups.



1. Corporate Income Tax- Base Erosion and Profit Sharing initiative (BEPS 2.0)

  • Implement Global Anti-Base Erosion (GloBE) rules and Domestic Top-up Tax (DTT) for large Multinational Enterprise (MNE) groups starting from businesses’ financial year commencing on or after January 1, 2025,
  • Monitor international developments and make necessary adjustments in case of delays.
  • Update industry development schemes to ensure Singapore’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining investments
  • BEPS 2.0 initiative will be implemented to curb base erosion and profit shifting.

2. Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Additional Conveyance Duties for Buyers

  • The Government will introduce higher marginal Buyer Stamp Duty rates for higher-value residential and non-residential properties.
  • For residential properties, the portion of the property’s value in excess of $1.5 million and up to $3 million will be taxed at 5%, while more than $3 million will be taxed at 6%.
  • The Additional Conveyance Duties regime will also be adjusted accordingly.
  • For non-residential properties, the portion of the property’s value in excess of $1 million and up to $1.5 million will be taxed at 4%, while more than $1.5 million will be taxed at 5%.
  • These changes will apply to all properties acquired from February 15, 2023,

3. Vehicle tax

  • The Government will implement higher marginal Additional Registration Fee (ARF) rates for luxury and higher-end cars.
  • Cars with an Open Market Value exceeding $40,000 up to $60,000 will be subject to a 190% tax rate, while those exceeding $60,000 up to $80,000 will face a 250% tax rate, and those exceeding $80,000 will meet a 320% tax rate.
  • The Preferential ARF (PARF) rebates will be capped at $60,000.

4. Tobacco Excise Duty

  • To discourage the consumption of tobacco, excise duty on tobacco products is increased by 15%.



This budget aims to establish a plan for Singaporeans to safeguard their future amidst a challenging global climate. It aims to facilitate fresh opportunities for Singaporeans, reinforce the social compact, and provide assurance for Singaporean families while simultaneously promoting collective resilience among Singaporeans as a unified people in response to mounting geopolitical and inflationary pressures.


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